Pike’s Peak, Summer Snow, More Colorado Red Rocks, and a Tiny Bit of Asthma

In the middle of my trip, we spent two different days in Colorado Springs to A) ride the cog railway to the top of Pike’s Peak and B) walk around the Garden of Gods.

Now the pictures get really good.

I think I’ve mentioned a time or 10 that I’m no photographer, but you’d have to try pretty hard to take a bad photo with this kind of scenery. These mountains and ridges and rocks conjure up the adjective majestic, a word I’ve never used before, to my former English professors’ great pleasure, I’m sure. But there’s just no other adequate description.

It is almost overwhelming, to find a stunning view at every single turn.

Of all the regions I’ve lived or visited, the Colorado Rockies probably top my list of places everyone should visit at least once, if possible. And I’m not the only one who feels that way, either. I learned Pike’s Peak is the second most visited mountain in the entire world, second only to Japan’s Mount Fuji.

Maybe this is why:

pikespeaklake2.jpg

At that point, our train had neared the summit–you can tell by the edge of the timber line. According to the train’s tour guide, Katharine Lee Bates composed words like “purple mountain majesties in “America the Beautiful” when looking at scenes like this as she traveled up Pike’s Peak on the old carriage road in a valley a few hundred feet from the train track:

purplemountain2.jpg

Then we reached the summit at 14,110 feet.

girls_snow2.jpg

Guys, that’s snow on the ground.

In July.

Right after I snapped this photo, running around in the cold, gusty winds of the summit with her sister forced AG into a coughing fit–the only indication of asthma trouble during our entire weeklong visit. Not bad for a kid whose every early childhood cold sent her to the ER, eh?

Temperature at the railway station: 92 degrees.
Temperature at the summit: 34 degrees.
We traveled 60 degrees in an hour and a half.
And guess what?

pp_snow2.jpg

Yep, still snowing.

Here’s a summit photo after it stopped:

pp_snow2-2.jpg

And while that view alone would’ve made the drive to Colorado Springs worth it for this Florida girl, there was more. The Garden of the Gods, also in the Colorado Springs area, features red sandstone boulders like the ones at Red Rocks.

Take a look.

garden_gap2.jpg

garden_close_gap2.jpg

I’ll be honest.

When I first got off the plane in Denver at the beginning of my vacation, I looked around at the flat, flat plains city and thought *It certainly is brown out here.* Rocks and prairie grass make for a startling contrast to the trees and grass and flowers that thrive in hot, humid Florida. As the week passed, though, I started to recognize a different sort of colorful landscape, one with variations in rock and grass rather than flowers and vines. The contrast between the vast blue sky, the rainbow rocks, and those jaw-dropping purple mountains in the distance:

garden_gap_trees2.jpg

I think that photo might just be my favorite, partly because the sheer size of the boulders make the full-size trees look unreal.

Finally, here’s a view from the garden looking out onto the mountains and valleys:

garden_valley2.jpg

Tomorrow: Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Really Big Announcement.

After that last batch of photos, I’ll resume the normal Friday Links and next week we’ll finally get back to regular posting, including your favorite Weird Health feature.

86 responses to “Pike’s Peak, Summer Snow, More Colorado Red Rocks, and a Tiny Bit of Asthma”

  1. Kirk says:

    Wow, those photos are amazing! You’ve done Colorado Springs proud. It’s great to hear a Florida perspective on our little town. Hope you enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park! I have a suspicion you will. :)

  2. Asthmagirl says:

    I love your photos! The views are amazing!

  3. Amy says:

    Thanks, and Kirk–I love your little town, and I’m learning more about (for when I move to the area) on your site. Thanks, again!

  4. kristi says:

    There is nothing even remotely close to the beauty in these pictures where I live. And that is some temperature difference. Brr….

  5. Tyler says:

    I have asthma too.

  6. Caggie says:

    Wow, those photos are amazing! You’ve done Colorado Springs proud. It’s great to hear a Florida perspective on our little town. Hope you enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park! I have a suspicion you will. :)

Leave a Reply